Sources of Energy

Non-Conventional Sources of Energy

Can you imagine a car that runs on water? Or one that runs on the power of the Sun? Well, the truth is you might have to get used to such wacky ideas. The planet is rapidly running out of conventional fuels, and non-conventional sources of energy are becoming our future. And in order to operate them let us learn more about non-conventional sources of energy.

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Non-conventional sources of Energy


Natural resources like wind, tides, solar, biomass, etc generate energy which is known as “Non-conventional resources“. These are pollution free and hence we can use these to produce a clean form of energy without any wastage.

Why do we need non-conventional energy resources?

As the consumption of energy grows, the population depends more and more on fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas day by day. There is a need to secure the energy supply for future since the prices of gas and oil keep rising by each passing day. So we need to use more and more renewable sources of energy. For the effective exploitation of non-conventional sources, there has been an establishment of a separate department namely “Department of non-conventional sources of energy” by the government of India.

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Renewable resources provide energy  in four important areas like :

  • Electricity generation
  • Water heating or cooling
  • Transporting
  • Rural

You can download Sources of Energy Cheat Sheet by clicking on the download button below

 Non-Conventional Sources of Energy

Types of Non-convention sources

  • Solar Energy
  • Wind Energy
  • Tidal Energy
  • Geothermal Energy
  • Biomass

Solar Energy

Solar energy is harnessed by converting solar energy directly into electrical energy in solar plants. Photosynthesis process carries out this process of conversion of solar energy. In photosynthesis, green plants absorb solar energy and convert it into chemical energy. Solar energy is an essential energy of all non-conventional sources but its usage amount is very less. It is the most important non-conventional source of energy and it gives non-polluting environment-friendly output and is available in abundant.

Uses of Solar energy

  • A solar cooker directs the solar heat into secondary reflector inside the kitchen, which focuses the heat to the bottom of the cooking vessel. It has a covering of a glass plate. They are applicable widely in areas of the developing world where deforestation is an issue, and financial resources to purchase fuel are not much.
  • Solar heaters also use solar energy to heat water instead of using gas or electricity.
  • Solar cells also use solar power to generate electricity from the sun.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Wind energy

Wind energy describes the process by which wind is used to generate electricity. As the wind increases, power output increases up to the maximum output of the particular turbine. Wind farms prefer areas, where winds are stronger and constant. These are generally located at high altitudes. Wind turbines use wind to make electricity. There is no pollution because no fossil fuels are burnt to generate electricity. One of India’s largest windmill farm is in Kanyakumari which generates 380mW of electricity.

Biomass energy

Biomass is the organic matter that originates from plants, animals, wood, sewage. These substances burn to produce heat energy which then generates electricity. The chemical composition of biomass varies in different species but generally, biomass consists of 25% of lignin, 75% of carbohydrates or sugar. Biomass energy is also applicable for cooking, lighting, and generation of electricity. The residue left after the removal of biogas is a good source of manure. Biomass is an important energy source contributing to more than 14% of the global energy supply.

Tidal energy

Tidal power is a form of hydropower that converts the energy of tides into electricity. In areas where the sea experiences waves and tides, we can generate electricity using tidal power. India may take up “ocean thermal level conversion” by which it will be able to generate 50,000mW of electricity to meet the power requirements.

Geothermal energy

Geothermal energy is the heat energy that we get from hot rocks present in the earth’s crust. So Geothermal wells release greenhouse gases trapped within the earth and but these emissions are much lower per energy unit than the fossil fuels. This energy generally involves low running costs since it saves 80% on fossil fuels. Due to this, there is an increase in the use of geothermal energy. It helps in reducing global warming and does not create pollution.


As the fossil fuels are one of the most the biggest pollutants on the planet, demand for the non-conventional sources is developing. These sources not only instigate greenhouse effects but also reduce the dependence on oil and gas. Therefore in order to meet the energy demand of the increasing population, the scientists are developing methods for us to tap into various non-conventional sources of energy, which are not only renewable but also non-polluting.

Learn more:

Question For You

Q. Methane gas has highest……….. among all hydrocarbons.

a. Ignition temperature                   c. Calorific value

b. Ratio of hydrogen to carbon      d. Both Band C are correct

Sol: c.  Calorific value

Hydrogen has the highest calorific value of 150 kJ/g. Among the hydrocarbon, methane has the highest calorific value of 55 kJ/g.

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Why should we give more emphasis on the uses of non conventional energy sources than conventional sources? Discuss

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